Last night, the Ethereum blockchain experienced a mysterious disruption in the validation of its blocks for 25 minutes.
As a reminder, since its transition to the Proof of Stake (PoS), the Ethereum network relies on staking to ensure its security and proper functioning. This consensus model is less energy consuming and faster than the previous one (Proof of Work) and aims to guarantee the proper functioning of the Beacon Chain.
Moreover, Ethereum remains the undisputed leader in many sectors such as DeFi and NFT. However, last night, the Ethereum blockchain network failed to “finalize” transactions for almost half an hour. While the cause of the bug is still unclear, experts believe that the problem could have been avoided with a wider range of clients.
Ethereum stopped finalizing transactions?
Indeed, on Thursday, around 10 pm, the Ethereum mainnet stopped finalizing transactions. The ETH consultant Superphiz quickly came back on the situation stating that the Beacon Chain had “stopped finalizing”.
I don’t know why yet, but in general the chain is designed to withstand this, transactions will continue as usual and finalization will begin when the problem is resolved,” he tweeted.
About 25 minutes later, the Ethereum network began finalizing blocks again. “Still no idea what happened […] Decentralization at all levels limits the impact of these events, regardless of the cause, we must continue to harden all vectors,” Superphiz said at the time.
According to ETH developer Marius van der Wijden, “two or three problems” would have occurred. “The chain recovered gracefully and we discovered a few other issues that could be improved to make Ethereum more resilient,” he explained.
Superphiz later added that if client software was the cause of the bug, then the network avoided a fork by having “no supermajority clients.
We could have avoided the loss of finality entirely if no client had more than 33% […] Let’s not forget that client diversity work is only one facet of robust network decentralization. Centralization of validators and centralization of block builders are other significant threats,” he said.